11 Jan Are Breast Implants Safer Than 20 Years Ago? How Technology Changed Augmentation
The Breast Implants Of Yesteryear
Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in the United States. In 2017, more than 250,000 breast augmentations were performed in the U.S. The size, shape, and even safety of breast implants have changed drastically over the years. The 1950s and 60s were the wild west of breast augmentations. Back then, doctors inserted sponges into the breast to give a fuller look, but the sponges would shrink and harden.
Evolution of implants
Then, during the 1960s, doctors began experimenting with silicone. Doctors would inject silicone directly into the breast, leading to significant infections. Silicone injections evolved into silicone implants with a poly elastomer (PDMS) shell filled with the poly substance or saline. Silicone implants were banned for decades due to health concerns, but in 2006 the FDA re-approved the implants for cosmetic use.
Why were silicone implants banned?
Silicone implants posed some health problems due to leakage and rupture. Typically, doctors recommend patients with these implants get replacements after 10 years. If these implants ruptured, the PDMS substance would leak into the body leading to infection, excess scar tissue, and other issues. When silicone enters the bloodstream, the body has trouble absorbing the substance, and silicone granules can block the blood vessels.
What are saline implants?
Saline implants have a silicone outer shell filled with sterile salt water. Doctors can insert an empty implant into the patient’s breast, then fill it with saltwater. If saline implants rupture, the body quickly absorbs the saltwater solution. Saline implants tend to have a rounder, firmer look, making implant ruptures easier to notice.
Are gummy bear implants safe?
Gummy bear implants are new to the U.S. market. These implants are made with a teardrop-shaped silicone outer shell and filled with a thick, cohesive silicone gel. These implants can also be filled with a saline solution. Gummy bear implants have a rupture rate of less than 3%. If the implant does become damaged, the shape stays intact, avoiding any leakage into the body.
Can I transfer fat to my breasts?
Another type of breast augmentation is fat transfer breast augmentation. This procedure combines liposuction with breast augmentation. Doctors take unwanted fat from a specific area like the stomach and inject the fat into the breasts. This procedure gives the augmented breast a natural look and feel. Issues like rupturing an allergic reaction are nonexistent with this procedure.
Which procedure is for me?
Patients interested in breast augmentation need to consult an experienced plastic surgeon. A consultation with the surgeon will teach the patient about augmentation options and risk factors. Cosmetic surgery technology has advanced drastically over the years, and a trained plastic surgeon will know all of the new techniques and procedures. Book a consultation today to learn more.